Alphabetical Plant Listing

Phegopteris hexagonoptera (Broad Beech Fern)

Broad Beechfern, Broad Beech Fern, Dryopteris hexagonoptera, Thelypteris hexagonoptera


Phegopteris hexagonoptera (Broad Beech Fern) is a deciduous, rhizomatous fern boasting broadly triangular, twice-pinnate, dull green fronds, 1-2 ft. long (30-60 cm), slightly hairy on the lower surface. They feature 12 or more opposite pairs of pinnae (leaflets) that are tapered at both ends. All the pinnae are connected along the rachis by a narrow wing of blade tissue. The rachis is green and winged with six angles. Fertile fronds are few, appearing late in the season. Unlike many other ferns, the sterile and fertile fronds of this fern are very similar in appearance. In the fall, the fronds turn pale yellow. The plant dies back in the winter or when it is exposed to too much sun. Broad Beech Fern spreads by both creeping rhizomes and spores and may become aggressive in optimum growing conditions. It is best used for massing as a ground cover in moist, shady woodlands. The shallow rhizomes can be easily dug if the plant gets out of bounds.

  • Grows up to 1-2 ft. tall and wide (30-60 cm).
  • Performs best in part shade to full shade in humus-rich, moist, neutral to acidic soils.
  • This plant is a great choice for cottage gardens, woodland gardens.
  • No serious pest or disease issues. Rabbit resistant. Keep an eye out for slugs.
  • Dead or damaged fronds may be removed as necessary.
  • Propagate by spores or rhizome division.
  • Native to eastern North America.

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Requirements

Hardiness 5 – 9
Plant Type Ferns
Exposure Partial Sun, Shade
Season of Interest Spring (Mid,Late)
Summer (Early,Mid,Late)
Fall
Height 1' – 2' (30cm – 60cm)
Spread 1' – 2' (30cm – 60cm)
Spacing 24" (60cm)
Water Needs Average
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained
Characteristics Showy
Native Plants United States, Midwest, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio, Wisconsin, Northeast, Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Southeast, Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, Southwest, Oklahoma, Texas
Tolerance Rabbit
Garden Uses Ground Covers
Garden Styles Informal and Cottage, Prairie and Meadow

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Katja Schulz, Doug MacGrady, Flickr

While every effort has been made to describe these plants accurately, please keep in mind that height, bloom time, and color may differ in various climates. The description of these plants has been written based on numerous outside resources.


Requirements

Hardiness 5 – 9
Plant Type Ferns
Exposure Partial Sun, Shade
Season of Interest Spring (Mid,Late)
Summer (Early,Mid,Late)
Fall
Height 1' – 2' (30cm – 60cm)
Spread 1' – 2' (30cm – 60cm)
Spacing 24" (60cm)
Water Needs Average
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained
Characteristics Showy
Native Plants United States, Midwest, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio, Wisconsin, Northeast, Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Southeast, Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, Southwest, Oklahoma, Texas
Tolerance Rabbit
Garden Uses Ground Covers
Garden Styles Informal and Cottage, Prairie and Meadow

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